Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shim's Tapas, Hongdae

(Directions at bottom of post.)
Trendy? Yes. Hip? Yes. Indie Hongdae atmosphere all over the place? Yes. If you're looking for a cool little joint in Hongdae to kick back with a few friends, enjoy some wine and munch on some tapas, then Shim's is the place to be.

Seoul has a serious lack of tapas restaurants, so Shim's stands out like a shining star. Vongo and Between are two other notable Seoul tapas restaurant, but both of these places tend to focus on appearing upscale and impressive, whereas Shim's is more laid back and indie.

One highlight of Shim's is the bloody mary oyster shot for only 1,500 won (seasonal, though unfortunately, I'm not sure what season is oyster season). There are a variety of other tapas on the menu. To give a few examples, when Meg and I went, we ordered the salmon with "mojo" sauce, spicy chicken with lemon & garlice, and empanadas. (Note: Although the "empanadas" were tasty, they weren't so much empanadas as filling inside puff pastries.) Other items on the menu include: spanish meatballs in onion sauce, pork fillet in caper sauce, as well as small pizzas.

My only real criticism is that, as a tapas restaurant, Shim's has a license to be creative. Diners at a tapas restaurant select several small plates to sample. Some may hit the mark, and some may fall a bit short. But since each portion is small, any mistakes can be quickly forgotten; a diner is not stuck with one entree for the entire meal. I would really like to see Shim's exercise the freedom of being a tapas restaurant in a large city, and attempt to create bold new culinary combinations for its diners to enjoy.

Directions: Go out Hongik University Station Exit 4 and turn right. Walk straight until the street stops at a three way intersection (There should be a Family Mart at this intersection). Turn left at this three-way intersection and walk straight. Turn right at the next street. Then turn left at the next street. Shim's Tapas should be on the righthand side of the street. See the map below:

View Shim's Tapas in a larger map


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